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Literary Activism

Celebrate #FillEveryShelf And Help Pack Classroom Libraries

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

Want to help ensure students have access to great books and digital resources in their classrooms? Tuesday, March 16 — tomorrow — starting at 7 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, you can do just that by taking part in the fourth annual DonorsChoose #FillEveryShelf campaign.

DonorsChoose is a platform where educators can submit projects they wish to have crowdfunded. It’s been used since 2000, most frequently by teachers in needy communities where funding challenges abound. Each project is assessed by DonorsChoose, and fulfillment of the projects goes through the organization — you can rest assured every donated penny goes directly to the project.

#FillEveryShelf aims to fund every book or digital resource project across the site on a single day. Each donation made to a qualifying project is doubled throughout the entire day, up to one million dollars, by DonorsChoose. In some cases, outside organizations already offering to match donations to individual projects will also be available, meaning your donation could be matched three times or more.

Teachers have been submitting their projects for the program, and those projects range from print book requests to magazine requests, professional development materials, audiobooks, ebooks, and more.

To take part in funding, search #FillEveryShelf on beginning tomorrow. Likewise, any project tagged “Books” will be highlighted as part of the campaign, making it easy to identify.

Another slick way to seek out these projects is to keep tabs on the #FillEveryShelf hashtag on Twitter. Teachers will share their eligible projects there, and it is immensely satisfying to watch as each funding goal is met.

Last year’s #FillEveryShelf campaign came in the weeks prior to the widespread shutdowns due to COVID-19, and amid that, DonorsChoose reported that over 9,000 projects were donated to by those passionate about getting books into the hands of young readers.

Set aside a few dollars — or more than a few, if you can — and take part in the project tomorrow. It might not seem like $5 will go far, but it will. The average classroom project request is smaller than you might imagine, and with a matching offer, classrooms will soon be seeing more books on their physical and digital shelves, bringing the world of literature, critical thinking, literacy, and enjoyment to students, whether or not they’re in the physical classroom.